Wednesday 11 September 2013

Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways Review

Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Stefano Caselli

I read the crossover story Civil War, and planned on reading, and reviewing the tie-in novels that I had, and although I read them I never got round to reviewing them. I am however hoping to do that now, and am continuing with the this Young Avengers/Runaways tie-in volume, with this being my second trade review on Young Avengers, and first for Runaways.


After the Runaways are attacked and targeted by S.H.I.E.L.D. the Young Avengers go to lend a hand, but aren't greated with open arms. Meanwhile acting S.H.I.E.L.D. director Maria Hill enlists Warden to track down the Runaways.


This was a great story, and one of the better tie-ins that I've read, with Civil War in general producing some amazing tie-in stories. Zeb Wells did a great job at bringing these two great young groups together, and although I've never read the Runaways before (even though I've heard that they're series' are great), Wells made me love them. He also did a great job of adding drama, and suspense to this story, whilst ultimately keeping it fun, like a young team story should be. Wells also did a great job with the action in this story as well, adding excitement, and entertainment, whilst also allowing it to be slightly gritty, and dynamic at times. The dialogue, and interaction in this story was also spectacularly handled, adding a lot of depth, and more drama to the story. Wells also added an unique twist with the direction he went with this story, which made it even more interesting.

The art on this story was simply amazing, and Stefano Caselli did an outstanding job. The detail in Caselli's art was simply outstanding, with very few imperfections. The layout of Caselli's art was also very dynamic, adding more depth, and drama to the story. I did however feel that the backgrounds were a little plane, with not a lot happening in most of them, but I could easily live with that, as in general his art was spectacular, being very dynamic, and unique. The action sequences also looked amazing, and Caselli added plenty of excitement, and suspense throughout them, with them being very explosive, and entertaining. I also enjoyed how he drew the characters, especially the Runaways, but I didn't feel his style suited Wiccan, as he looked a little squarish at times, which didn't look natural. Caselli did however do a great job at showing the characters emotions, and overall he did an amazing job with this story.

This story starts with the Runaways saving a group of Capekillers from Flag-Smasher, and then getting hunted by other Capekillers for doing so. Due to this S.H.I.E.L.D. acting director Maria Hill enlists Warden to help her. Now I found this to be very interesting, as it showed just how far the Super-Human Registration Act would go, as it's not bad enough that these are kids, but they're being hunted for helping protect S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Capekillers. I was however not surprised with this, and it would be a brilliant catalyst for a great story.

Due to S.H.I.E.L.D. targeting the Runaways the Young Avengers see it as their duty to protect these young heroes, but when the two teams first meet they don't get along well, getting into a fight. This did however give a great explosive fight sequence, adding great excitement, and considering the events leading to this meeting it's natural that the Runaways would feel this way. The interaction between the two teams itself was however amazing, and really entertaining, and I really enjoyed seeing them eventually team-up.

I already mentioned that Maria Hill enlisted the help of Warden, but I thought I'd talk a bit more about what I thought of his appearance in this story. Now I'll start by saying that I'm not overly familiar with Warden bar the basics, but I did find it rather unique by going with him as a villain. I did however love his mentality, as although it's not very pleasant, or nice, it added more depth to the story, making it gritty, and dramatic, also giving us a villain that we want to hate, which is always nice.

The other villain in this story would be rather different, as Warden would use Noh-Varr to track, and capture the Runaways (and subsequently the Young Avengers). I loved seeing Noh-Varr as a bad guy, as having only seen him in Avengers stories, as well as the current Young Avengers series I've only ever seen him as a hero. The action between him, and both the Runaways, and Young Avengers was simply astonishing, being very exciting, and entertaining, and considering his background it was a smart choice having him as a villain, and Wells handled the character perfectly.

Final Verdict

This was an outstanding tie-in story, being one of the best tie-in stories that I've ever read. It had plenty of drama, and suspense, as well as superb action, and tremendous dialogue. It also had great character interaction, and wonderful development, being a tremendously fun, and entertaining read. Due to all this I'd highly recommend this to anyone, but would obviously also recommend the actual Civil War story itself to go with it, as although it's not essential, it is an amazing story, and would give better understanding to the background of this one.

Rating: 9/10

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